People, people, people. We realize some of you are very eager to wed one another, and that you want to do it in the right way. You know, by asking in the most visible and obvious fashion that shows the world how much you really do care. This means that something quiet and private and sweet or romantic or special that's just between you and your betrothed-to-be simply will not do. Neither will, say, proposing at a dinner with friends or family. You need something big. A grand gesture. The kind of thing you see in movies, or on the Internet, or on that "reality" TV show about bachelors and/or bachelorettes. The stakes are so high, what's a proposal-aspiring person to do? It's not like you can just show up with a ring and ask a question, you know! Push the envelope, proposers: Think waterslides! Scaling buildings! Skydiving! Shark tanks! Proposing while diving into shallow pools or walking through fire into oncoming traffic! And, yet, once you think it, it's probably been done. Keeping up with the proposal-Joneses has never been so challenging.
It is on the backdrop of this rather insane reality that we get the most recent case of horrible wedding proposals, as reported by outlets including The Sun. It's the apparently true story of "oddball Alexey Bykov," a 30-year-old Russian man who arranged a fake car crash—complete with a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists, and a camera crew—at which his girlfriend, Irena Kolokov, who seems to have done nothing to deserve this, could meet him. There, she'd think him dead and totally freak out in a "My boyfriend just died in a car crash" sort of way before he "woke up" and asked her to marry him. The point, of course, was to make her realize how meaningless life would be without him. Aw.
Let's see what happened, why don't we? Via The Sun:
Irena said: “We’d arranged to meet at a certain place but when I arrived there were mangled cars everywhere, ambulances, smoke, and carnage.
“Then when I saw Alexey covered in blood lying in the road, a paramedic told me he was dead and I just broke down in tears.”
There you go, there's your photo op. But it gets better—Alexey got up, rising from the dead as it were, and asked Irina to marry him. Given her surprise and happiness that he was living or at least some sort of animate zombie and not her dead boyfriend, and not shouting "brains!" she said yes!
Alexey says he won't feign death again, and we wish the happy couple many years together. But it's time to put a stop to these proposals. We were ready to turn a blind eye to the social media Will You Marry Me?s and the embarrassing flash mob extravaganzas choreographed to Michael Jackson songs, but enough is enough. Car crashes and presumed fatalities have gotten involved. This is a clearly a slippery slope down which we've slipped too far. For one, it becomes impossible to trump anyone else's really awesome car crash proposal. For two, a "really awesome car crash proposal" is not and never has been a thing. Get it together, proposers! A few sanity guidelines if you're thinking of popping the question:
- Don't propose in a food court. Or, at Disney World. Via a flash mob. On an airplane with an unfortunate random stranger in between the two of you, because your girlfriend is a "window" and you're an "aisle." Don't propose to anyone who will say "No" in front of a large group of people. Each of these methods has been known to go wrong. Plus, you're making your proposal a matter of public consumption, and presuming the public actually cares. We love you, we really do, but how about you just call us and tell us about it later, so we can congratulate you properly instead of getting annoyed you're holding up the McDonald's line?
- Do not stage anything that you'd dub "epic" or "the most dramatic proposal yet." This is overselling and you're setting yourself up for failure.
- Don't text it. Underselling.
- Don't do it for the blog post. Even if you really, really, think it's great and you really, really work hard. Don't do it. It's embarrassing for all of us.
- Do not do it on TV, particularly not on a reality show about finding your true love and proposing to him or her. We don't believe you.
- Do not involve a Jumbotron.
- Don't lose the ring, or the bride.
- Do not involve social media. Don't make it "YouTube-able."
- Do not have a website sponsor your proposal, or crowdsource your proposal, or crowdsource responses or pitches for the object of your engagement attraction.
- Do not fake your own death in order to find out how much your fiancee-to-be truly loves you (see above).
- Don't make your proposal part of a crime scene, post, present, future, or ongoing. Or part of a police raid, fake or otherwise.
- Don't propose on or near a cliff. Or at a cemetery.
- If you are going to do any of the above, do be prepared to make us cry out of the sheer cheesy amazingness of your proposal, and for the love of God, stay alive, both of you.
- Do make sure you actually want to marry said person, and not just for the Internet fame surrounding your proposal.
- Do simply ask the person whom you would like to marry if he or she will marry you. Do it nicely, in a way that suits the both of you. You don't even have to tell us about it, if you don't want to. After all, we didn't even ask.
Unless you follow these tips we can't guarantee that you will be safe from the ire of the Internet. Then again, if some guy doesn't fake his own death now and again to get his girlfriend to marry him, maybe the world isn't doing enough to keep the Internet full of news. And we can't even imagine how we could survive in such a place as that.
The caveat of caveats, of course, is that it's your proposal and your life, and you can do whatever you like. Just, please register for some stuff we can actually afford, OK?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.